Friday, April 7, 2017

Blondie: Releasing New Album & Tour

Blondie masterminds Debbie Harry and Chris Stein are releasing their first new album in three years.
As Stein put it, “The last two records before this were a little more electronic and computer-based, but this one is more organic and very much band-based, a little more old-school.”

Blondie announced their eleventh studio album, Pollinator, and based on how first single “Fun” sounds, it’s going to be very, very old-school. In fact, this sucker sounds like it could have easily popped up on 1978’s Plastic Letters or Parallel Lines. It’s a vintage blend of disco, new wave, and modern pop, no doubt elevated by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek who came in with the assist.

Among the album’s other guest contributors: Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes wrote “Long Time”, Sia penned “Best Day Ever”, which features guitar work by The Strokes’ Nick Valensi, Charli XCX helped out on “Gravity”, and Johnny Marr offered up “My Monster”. Elsewhere, Joan Jett sings on “Doom Or Destiny”, Bob’s Burgers comedian John Roberts helps out on “Love Level”, The Gregory Brothers appear on “When I Gave Up On You”, and the one and only Laurie Anderson pops up on a secret track also written by Charli XCX titled “Tonight”.

Produced by Grammy Award-winning producer John Congleton, who aimed to bring the outfit back to their glory days.

This summer, Blondie and Garbage are teaming up for a co-headlining tour. Dubbed the Rage and Rapture Tour, it will see the two iconic rock acts trek across North America from early July through mid-August.
John Doe & Exene Cervenka and Deap Vally will serve as openers.

The joint outing comes in support of Blondie’s upcoming, star-studded album, Pollinator, and Garbage’s 2016 record, Strange Little Birds.

Blondie and Garbage 2017 Tour Dates
07/05 – Saratoga at The Mountain Winery
07/07 – Santa Barbara Bowl

Bryan Ferry: Returning to North America in 2017

Bryan Ferry will be returning to North America in 2017!

Performing a varied set list including highlights from Roxy Music, hits from his solo back catalogue as well as fresh new music from his critically-acclaimed album ‘Avonmore’, these new dates come on the back of his 2016 tours which received rave reviews.

Chicago Tribune, “As always, Bryan Ferry was impeccable.”

Bryan plays the Mountain Winery, Saratoga on August 21.

The Specials: North American Spring Tour 2017

English ska legends The Specials will soon make their way across the Atlantic for a North American spring tour. Set to commence in early June, the jaunt will see the UK outfit play to crowds in such cities as Toronto, Brooklyn, Portland, Los Angeles, and Baltimore.

The tour will feature a new iteration of The Specials, following the deaths of both drummer John Bradbury and trombonist Rico Rodriguez in 2015. The updated lineup includes original members in Terry Hall, Horace Panter, and Lynval Golding, rounded out by Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Craddock on guitar and Gary Powell of The Libertines on drums.
(Original keyboardist Jerry Dammers currently missing in action...)

If the group’s upcoming dates are anything like its impressive appearance at Riot Fest Chicago last September, fans old and new should be in for a treat.

The Specials 2017 Tour Dates:
06/16 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
06/17 – Saratoga, CA @ Mountain Winery
06/18 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl

Friday, March 17, 2017

Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore: ‘I Can’t Claim That the Songs Were All Written for Trump’

by Chuck Arnold

Thirty years after they gave us Music for the Masses, Depeche Mode is giving us music for the moment, taking on these troubled times on their new album, Spirit. But while their follow-up to 2013’s Delta Machine plays like a timely commentary on the state of the post-Trump world, it wasn’t conceived as such.

“It’s quite coincidental that the album has come out right now. I can’t claim that the songs were all written for Trump,” says Martin Gore, principal songwriter of the British electronic band. “It just seems like such perfect timing, because the world is in such a mess. But the majority of these songs were written in 2015-2016, so the world was in a mess then too. It’s just gotten a little worse.”

Before last year’s divisive U.S. presidential election, Gore felt compelled to tackle other political and social issues on Spirit. “We canceled a show in Kiev on the last tour because that was when things first started to kick off in the Ukraine [crisis],” he says. “And just after our tour finished, the Russians went into Crimea. And then there was the Syrian war going on — I can’t believe the world has just sat back and let that happen. In America, a constant battle was going on for rights: gay rights and transgender rights. There was the police violence against blacks. That was all happening during the writing period.”

Since both Gore and lead singer Dave Gahan live in the U.S., what was the band’s reaction after Donald Trump won the presidential election? “I think we were all just as shocked as all rational people,” Gore says. “On the day of the election I texted a friend of mine because I was a bit worried, and he said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Just look at the polls.’ So that night I sat watching it, and my jaw just kept dropping and dropping and dropping. I could not believe that so many people could vote for such an idiot. After everything that he did and said — things that we have tapes of him saying — I just don’t understand. It’s crazy.”

Adds keyboardist Andrew Fletcher: “I just hope he turns out better than we think. But we’re quite worried about the direction things are going at the moment.”

Gore says the new album’s title comes from the line “Our spirit has gone” in the haunting closer, “Fail.” “That [line] is one of the themes of the record,” he says. “And I’m hoping that by saying that and pointing that out, it helps people to think, and maybe we can get some kind of spirit back.”

As for the inspiration behind the politically charged single “Where’s the Revolution,” Gore says, “I think a lot of people are very frustrated and very angry, and I think they’ve just misplaced their anger. I think the system is broken and it needs to be fixed, but with the Brexit vote and by electing Trump, some of the decisions that are being made are not helping anyone.”

Meanwhile, “Going Backwards” reflects on the regression Gore has observed in the world. “Syria is like the Middle Ages at the moment,” he says. “And America is not quite in the Middle Ages yet, but it could easily be turned back 50 years very soon.”

Elsewhere, “The Worst Crime” deals with environmental issues. “For me, the worst crime is the fact that we are just destroying the world, destroying the planet,” says Gore. “We’ve known about it for a long time, and there are still so many people who deny it and will not accept what scientists tell us. It’s the worst crime because we’re not just destroying it for ourselves, we’re destroying it for our descendants. If we carry on the way we are, there will be no world.”

On Spirit, Depeche Mode worked with producer James Ford for the first time. “We liked a lot of James’s stuff he’d done with the Arctic Monkeys and also his work with Simian Mobile Disco, which is more electronic, so we thought he’d be perfect for us,” says Fletcher. “We wanted a quite minimalist sound in general, and he did that, and he was very fast.” Adds Gore: “We felt that it was time to make a change after making three albums with Ben Hillier, even though we loved every second of making those albums. We felt that we have to challenge ourselves and create a different atmosphere. I think [Ford] is a sound magician. He’s incredible.”

Now Depeche Mode are gearing up to launch their “Global Spirit” tour on May 5 in Stockholm. As for the set list, Fletcher says, “That’s always a problem, because our back catalog is so large. We can’t play for seven hours. I think Dave might be really exhausted. But we try to pick some of the best moments from throughout our career.”

Gore is philosophical about it: “Whatever we do, there’s always some of our fans who will complain. But I think we’ve got a good set list that will keep the majority of people happy.”

Friday, January 6, 2017

'80s Artists New Releases of 2016 Most Viewed on YouTube

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dark Necessities 50,404,340 views

David Bowie - Lazarus ('Blackstar') 39,421,320 views

Pet Shop Boys - The Pop Kids ('Super') 1,135,689 views

Yello - Limbo ('Toy') 186,360 views

Simple Minds - Promised You A Miracle (Acoustic) 93,679 views

They Might Be Giants - I Love You for Psychological Reasons ('Phone Power') 93,583 views

Jesus And Mary Chain - Amputation ('Damage And Joy' 2017) 76,296 views

Vince Clarke & Paul Hartnoll - Better Have A Drink To Think 23,890 views

Andy Bell (Erasure) - My Precious One 18,474 views

John Foxx & the Maths featuring Gary Numan - Talk (Are You Listening to Me?) 8,843 views

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Hard to believe that a full decade has passed featuring my favorite decade in music. It was back in June 2006, that I assumed the mantel bringing the best of the best of New Wave and Punk oriented music to the local air waves.

How do I celebrate such an achievement?
Tune in today to hear some one hit wonders and some of our favorite forgotten b-sided gems from the likes of The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, OMD and who knows what else... Saturdays 4-6pm at!


JIMMY SOMERVILLE releases live album, 'Live And Acoustic At Stella Polaris' on July 29th featuring ten tracks from all stages of his career - including songs from THE COMMUNARDS and BRONSKI BEAT - performed acoustically at Denmark's Stella Polaris Festival in 2015.

(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real / Why? / Back To Me / To Love Somebody / Come Lately /
Some Wonder / For A Friend / I Just Don't Know What To Do / Smalltown Boy / Don't Leave Me This Way